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MENTAL HEALTH IN BOXING

By Davy Trengove – In boxing, Mental health plays just as big a part as the physical side. Preparing the mind for fight night is just as important as preparing the body. During the weeks running up to a fight, boxers spend a lot of time alone, running the roads in the early hours, sometimes taking themselves away from family life to prepare during camp. The mind is an intricate piece of equipment and I would personally say, Boxing is 90% mental and 10% physical. The nerves approaching the bout, the hard training regimes and running the scenario of how the fight will go is a lot for someone to deal with on top of everyday life.

It doesn’t matter whether they’re an amateur or an elite World champion, they’re still Human. Thoughts and emotions are natural and cannot just be switched off.

Various high profile boxers have openly spoken about their mental state of mind throughout their career in recent years, for example, Ricky Hatton, Frank Bruno, Shannon Briggs and Tyson Fury to name a few. They are doing great things for mental health awareness and are trying to detract the Stigma associated with mental health. No one should have to feel like they have to keep things bottled up and Sport’s stars tend to be proud people not wanting to be seen as mentally unstable. There are clinics, workshops and professional help that can be contacted and it should be contacted if you’re feeling unwell.

A person’s Mental health is not always strong and the pressures of everyday life can sometimes build up on us without us even knowing about it. So don’t keep things bottled up, talk to someone and take the weight of the world off your shoulders.

Sergio Martinez once said that after he beat Chavez he had 1060 missed calls but when he lost to Cotto he had 4 missed calls, one from an unknown number and three from his Mother and that really put things into perspective for him. The thought process after defeat is whether they are good enough, who have they let down and future income…It’s a lot to deal with. Tyson Fury has spoken of everyone wanting to know a winner but when you’re a loser, it’s a quiet dressing room and you’re basically on your own (In his words, “You’re the only bum in the shower.”)

Sports stars at all levels have pressure placed on them from the press, social media, the fans and even from their coaching team but when it’s time to lay down at the end of the day, it’s just one person and their thoughts. They think about who to trust regarding money, contracts and investments and who to trust when it comes to socialising, it must be hard.

Regardless of your walk in life, if you feel like to have a mental illness, please try and talk to somebody. People should never have to feel like they are alone and help is always out there if you seek it. It’s no longer a taboo subject and it is now spoke about in daily life.

I've been in the boxing industry for over 16 years but been a fan for almost double that figure. I'm the proud owner of TopClassBoxing which continues to go from strength to strength as we strive to give fight fans a voice to be heard amongst the community. I've also had several articles published by reputable magazines and you can usually catch me around ringside.

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